Premenstral Syndrome

Premenstral Syndrome (PMS) is a condition that is often misunderstood. Chances are you’ve heard someone refer to a woman who’s a little emotional as “on her period”, “it must be ‘that time of the month’” or “Wow! Chill out! PMS or what!?!”

Most women experience some of the symptoms of PMS in a milder form, making it difficult for those who suffer badly to find understanding from others. Any woman can be affected by PMS during their child bearing years. It is estimated that 30% of women experience moderate to severe PMS & 5-8% suffering from severe PMS.

Symptoms occur from ovulation to the onset of a period (the luteal phase) and will have significantly improved by the end of the period (menstruation). Symptoms vary from person to person & from month to month.

Symptoms of PMS can include:

  • mood swings
  • depression
  • tiredness, fatigue & lethargy
  • anxiety
  • irritability, aggressiveness & anger
  • sleep disorder
  • breast tenderness (I have to walk down the stairs holding my boobs as it’s so painful!)
  • bloating
  • headaches
  • clumsiness
  • severe cramps (I’ve been bent over double & unable to move before)

There are a number of treatments for PMS, including:

  • combined oral contreceptive pills
  • Prostate injection (this is the treatment I am on. It is usually a short term option, but I reacted badly to the combined oral contraceptive pill because of my Basilar Type Migraine with Aura)
  • oestrogen patches
  • diet changes
  • implants
  • GnRH analogue therapy
  • In extreme situations a hysterectomy may be performed as a last resort.

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Useful resources –

About PMS, National Association for Premenstral Syndrome. http://www.pms.org.uk/about. NAPAS.

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